A painting torn into two pieces.
One of 150 destroyed paintings in the Afghan National Collection ©

Foundation for Culture and Civil Society

We are pleased to award the Assessing the condition of the Afghan National Art Collection project £50,000

This project will carry out a preliminary needs assessment on 150 paintings within the Afghan National Collection that were destroyed by the Taliban.

The Afghan National Gallery

The Afghan National Gallery (Negaristan Melli) is located in the centre of Kabul in an historic manor house, previously the British Embassy building, which became the new National Gallery in 1983. The gallery is home to the national art collection, which at its peak housed 800 paintings including 580 by Afghan artists. The paintings are a collection of mixed canvas and paper media predominately dating from the mid nineteenth to mid twentieth century.

The 150 paintings were damaged, torn or painted over in watercolour to hide their imagery, having been condemned for portraying subjects deemed as idolatrous or polytheistic according to the Taliban’s fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.

Assessing the needs of the Collection

In this project, the Foundation for Culture & Civil Society will perform a condition assessment of 150 paintings from the Afghan National Art Gallery, with support from international paintings conservation experts. Training needs for staff at the museum will also be assessed in order to understand the future training needs of the gallery and to support future restoration of the collection.

About the Foundation for Culture & Civil Society (FCCS)

Foundation for Culture & Civil Society (FCCS) is an NGO in Kabul that was established in March 2003. Its main purpose is the preservation of Afghan culture and heritage and the empowerment of civil society. FCCS has established cultural centres in 7 main urban areas of Afghanistan (Kandahar, Herat, Mazar, Baghlan, Frayab, Jalalabad, and Khost), and encourages the formation of social organisations in all provinces by providing them with technical advice to help them accomplish their planned socio-cultural activities.

Project partners

  • Sayed & Nadia Consultancy Inc
  • Afghan National Gallery